LECTURE: Exploring Mars with 150,000 Earthlings, Feb 17

Astronomer Meg Schwamb will introduce the Planet Four project, a project in which researchers have collaborated with over 150,000 “citizen scientist” volunteers worldwide.

Poster with photo of speaker and information found in the text of this post.

EVENT: Presentation by Meg Schwamb, Assistant Scientist at Gemini Observatory.
TITLE: Exploring Mars with 150,000 Earthlings.
DATE: Friday, Feb. 17, 2017.
TIME: 7:00 p.m.
LOCATION: ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center, University of Hawai‘i at Hilo (campus map).

This talk is part of the Maunakea Skies Talk program of the UH Hilo ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center.

Summary

Meg Schwamb

The Red Planet of Mars is a dynamic world. Its icy south pole is sculpted by the never-ending cycle of freezing and thawing carbon dioxide ice, causing materials to travel through hundreds of thousands of dark fans. When observed from orbit, these fans appear as long dark streaks that are thought to be jets of material erupting from the Martian surface. By studying these unique features we can better understand Mars’ climate and how it differs from Earth, opening up a whole new wealth of knowledge.

Schwamb will introduce the Planet Four project, a project in which researchers have collaborated with over 150,000 “citizen scientist” volunteers worldwide. Connected through the power of the internet, volunteers map these fans and other surface features formed by carbon dioxide jets helping planetary scientist characterize surfaces on Mars.

Schwamb will discuss the discoveries made by these citizen scientists and explain how people can get involved in exploring Mars from the comfort of their own home.

Bio

Meg Schwamb received her doctor of philosophy in planetary science from the California Institute of Technology in 2011. Prior to her work with Gemini, she was a National Science Foundation fellow at Yale University, and previously was an Academia Sinica Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics at Academia Sinica in Taipei, Taiwan.

She has collaborated with hundreds of people to search for new planets outside of our Solar System, and study the climate of Mars. She is a member of the science team for the Zooniverse’s Planet Four projects using human pattern recognition to map wind-blown seasonal fans appearing on Mars’ South Pole.

Tickets

$10, $8 for ‘Imiloa members (member level discounts apply). Member Level Discounts: $8 for UH Hilo and Hawai‘i Community College Student, Kupuna, Individual, Dual, and Family Members; $6 for Patron Members; Free for Silver, Gold, and Corporate Members. Pre-purchase tickets at ‘Imiloa’s front desk or by phone at 808-932-8901.